Tommy Robinson has a past as a bit of a thug. Football fighting, assault, that mix up with the mortgage which ended up with a conviction for fraud. Not the ideal CV for the saviour of the West, really.
Still, those are all spent convictions and in the UK at least, if you’ve done the time and paid the fine, that should be that. Unless it’s a real biggie, like rape or murder, it shouldn’t be held against you for ever. People do grow up, young thugs do become responsible adults sometimes. It happens. Quite often, in fact. I know quite a few of them.
I watched a YouTube video of Tommy Robinson talking with Imam Tahwidi (The Imam of Peace on Twitter and elsewhere). Imam Tahwidi is a devout Muslim and declares the Quran can never be reformed or changed. Yet, he does not feel the same way about the Hadiths, scripture written after Mohammed’s death. Those are not immutable because they do not come directly from the Prophet. Those hadiths are where most of the violence and intolerance comes from.
Tommy disagreed totally in the interview but was respectful and polite throughout. There was no shouting, no threats, from either of them. In fact, Tommy (and indeed I) learned a lot from Imam Tahwidi in that interview.
Whatever you think of Tommy Robinson, he is not the thug he once was. He might not be awfully bright but he means well. His fight against Muslim child rape gangs – well, if you want to silence dissent against child rape gangs I am going to open the Lefty play book and use the ‘if you don’t condemn it, you are clearly part of it’ gambit. That play book works both ways.
He is currently in jail for breaking the terms of a suspended sentence. The police who arrested him told him he wasn’t in breach (it’s on video) and arrested him for ‘breach of the peace’ which is a wonderful catch-all term for arrest that can mean anything at all. His lawyer was told he would be released. So the lawyer did not attend the trial he did not know was happening and Tommy was summarily sent to jail the same day he was arrested.
All over Twitter I see ‘Well he broke the law, what do you expect?’
He did, yes. He filmed convicted child rapists on their way into court for sentencing. The trial was over. The argument was that this action could prejudice more trials of this kind that are ongoing.
Maybe it could. I’m not a lawyer. I have been inside a courtroom precisely once in my life, called for jury service but not selected. So maybe an hour in a courtroom out of 58 years of life. I can’t pretend to know a damn thing about how it works. It just looked like a load of pompous self-importance to me.
I do know that having jury service hanging over you can totally fuck up self-employment. The bastards just don’t care though.
I do not see a single tweet suggesting that maybe the law isn’t quite what it should be.
Tommy had a suspended sentence of 3 months. He was summarily (within hours of arrest, remember, and with his lawyer told they had no need to attend because he would be released) sentenced to 13 months. Is that a fair way to treat anyone? Would you like it applied to you? You can be arrested for a hurty tweet or a sick joke now. How would you like to just disappear? Ask yourself, do you really want the law to work like that?
Oh it’s okay when it applies to someone you don’t like, isn’t it? But when it’s your dad or mum, when it’s your sister or brother, son or daughter, when it’s you… too late to object. The law is the law, remember, and when it comes for you… oh, please, no tears. It’s a waste of suffering.
Whatever you think of Tommy Robinson, whatever I think, doesn’t matter. Thousands and thousands of people turn out at demos to support him and those are just the ones who aren’t thinking quietly to themselves ‘he has a point’. We are talking a huge following here.
Call them all far right if you want, but they aren’t. They are ordinary people looking for a focus and identity their government denies them. The real far right are coming and when you shout ‘They are far right!’ the ordinary people will respond with ‘Well that’s what you call us anyway’. This is how despots get to power.
Tommy Robinson might well get killed by radical Muslims in prison. He won’t be the first.
Thirteen months. It could very well happen.
And if it does, the mob has a martyr.
This cannot end well.